Amid a political tussle over an order by ministry of dwelling affairs granting extra powers to BSF, specialists associated to safety forces have combined emotions on it. Whereas a former Punjab DGP feels the Border Safety Pressure (BSF) is supplied to cope with new threats equivalent to drones simply, a former BSF ADG mentioned it is going to divert the organisation from fulfilling its “main mandate” of border guarding.
According to a new gazette notification, dated October 11, BSF officials can now search, seize, arrest — at par with their police counterparts — 50 km deep into border states Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. The earlier jurisdictional limit for these states was 15 km. While Assam has welcomed the Centre’s move, Punjab and West Bengal have condemned the move calling it an attack on “federal structure”.
Apparently, even with a police background, former Punjab DGP Shashi Kant advised News18 that BSF will need to have the facility to grab drones that come into Indian territory.
“We (Punjab Police) have labored in intelligence companies and different central authorities forces. Now drones which were coming in have a restricted vary. They’re carrying arms and ammunition and are dropped inside. So, usually, they will journey most as much as 40 to 50 km, no more than that. For that, BSF will need to have the facility to grab them,” Shashi Kant said.
The former DGP said, “He, however, also said political parties were in the habit of politicking over such matters as elections were around the corner. “BSF was always there. On certain occasions, it was also there for internal security duties; I don’t think there will be any problem. It has become a political issue because of a misconception.”
Shashi Kant additionally mentioned the issue was that elections will likely be held in Punjab in just a few months. So, everyone needed to derive “political profit” out of the situation, he added.
Former BSF ADG SK Sood said BSF powers were granted considering population in the area and police strength. The step, he said, will divert the force from performing its primary duty of guarding the border.
“BSF in Rajasthan and Gujarat had 80 km-radius limit from the border decades ago because there were hardly any police, and population was low. But in Punjab, this was no issue, which is why BSF had 15 km. I think this step will divert the force, which is already facing staff crunch, from performing its duty. Giving powers to BSF is okay, but border guarding is our primary mandate and we should stick to that,” Sood advised News18.
On the drone difficulty, Sood mentioned these threats got here from throughout the border so the BSF’s main job must be to strengthen the border as a substitute of dealing with powers equivalent to search, seizure and arrest.